turboferret: the-queen-of-angsts: xhangryx: …






drained of blood, the heart is white


No, that is NOT what this is. You’ve taken an amazing medical invention, a total game changer, and made up some stupid, faux-deep sentence fragment for it that is a complete falsehood. You should be embarrassed and ashamed, honestly.

This is a ghost heart. What they’ve done is taken a pig heart and stripped it down to, basically, a cell framework that they can use to BUILD A NEW HEART UPON. You could inject stem cells into this framework so that a newly formed personalized heart can be transplanted into a donor with a significantly reduced chance of rejection. FUCKING AMAZING. It’s not been done with human tissue yet, but the promise this given to people who need hearts – or kidneys or livers or whatever – is beautiful. Science is beautiful.

And it’s IMPERATIVE to mention that a woman, Doris Taylor, at the Texas Heart Institute developed this. And she started with a rat heart and worked up to he bigger, more complex (and more human) pig heart. What a total bad ass.

So look, quit making shit up, learn to do a reverse image search on stuff you find on the internet, and STOP ERASING WOMEN IN SCIENCE.

Reblogging for:

  • The corrected information
  • The fact that rejection rate would be LESS which is VITAL

Reblog for science communication

Oh hey I studied this stuff in graduate school.

Any structure you can grow cells on (typically stem cells) is generally referred to as a “scaffold.” They’re usually polymers, composed of a mix of natural and artificial materials, and that’s what I developed. The properties of the scaffold will affect how the stem cells behave, and we still don’t know exactly what it is about the scaffolds that causes which changes in the cells, and it makes the prospect of growing tissues outside of the body for transplants extremely difficult. Basically, we know that we want the scaffold to match the tissue it’s replacing as closely as possible–same toughness, same elasticity, same chemical composition, etc. This is very hard to do.

What to do, then? We can’t just transplant pig hearts into people, because our immune systems will reject them. But… Internal organs are built upon a “skeleton” of acellular connective tissue. The photo above is a decellularized organ (that’s the term to google to learn more about this! “ghost heart” is not a word I’ve ever heard before and I specifically studied heart tissue!) created with a process developed by Doris Taylor several years ago. Here’s an article that describes the process more in depth [link], but basically, you pump a bunch of surfactant (a component of soap) through the organ, and it “washes” all the cells out. 

And now that the heart is “empty,” you can “seed” it (yes, that’s the technical term!) with stem cells from the person who will receive the transplant, to ensure no issues with organ rejection. This process can be done with many other organs besides the heart. In my lab, we had students working on kidneys and spleens.

We’re still nowhere near being able to use this (decellularized whole organs) in medical practice, but considering that tissue engineering wasn’t even a thing until the early 1990′s, we’ve come a long way.

I know this isn’t bugs but the “nano” in my user name is literally from my academic studies in nanotechnology and its applications in biomedical engineering and everything is connected blah blah blah bio-inspired design blah blah blah Hi guys I’m back!!!

November 8, 2018